TITLE: ANIMISM An Itawes Culture

Abogado, Faith-Caress C. Bulauitan, Wendy


"Itawis".HISTORY OF ITAWES Itawes inhabit the territory drained by the Chico and Matalos rivers as well as all of Southern Cagayan from Nasiping to the Village of Cavug. The Itawes are known with various alternate names such as "Itawet". the early natives of Cagayan referred to one another by the group description of Ibanags. They go through the process of linguistic adaptation which made the Ibanag and Itawes language indistinguishable. ³Tawish´. "Tawit". Y-Raya. However. ³Itaves´. ³Itawiq´. meaning "the upstream people" was also used. ³Itabes´. Malaueg" and "Rizal". Occasionally. ³Itawi´. nothing basically differentiates them from the Ibanags of whom they really are an ethnic subgroup. They got their name from the combination of the word "tawid" meaning across the river and prefix "i" meaning "people of". or the Y-Rita which means "those from the south". the Itawes live with the Ibanags and speak Ibanag. In many of these towns. now the town of Enrile. ³Itawit´. 2 .I. Linguists classified "Malaueg" and "Rizal" as dialects of Itawes language. The Ibanag language is the mother tongue of the Itawes The Itawes are culturally and linguistically close to the Ibanag. Except for certain nuances in their language and the flair among-their womenfolk for ornamentation and colorful attire.

The spirit. plants. or an individual who lived and one who did not. Also there was a need to give a reason for the pictures some saw when they slept. even if it was inanimate. Tylor reasoned primitive man arrived at his animistic belief to help him explain the causes of sleep. The souls not only passed between human beings but into. Tylor was criticized by another British anthropologist Robert Ranulph Marett (1866-1943) who was convinced that 3 . The belief of animism is probably one of man's oldest beliefs. According to him primitive peoples. From its earliest beginnings it was a belief that a soul or spirit existed in every object. The spirits were the early man's explanations. was thought to be universal.'" He stated all religions from the simplest to the most complexed shared some sort of animistic belief. In a future state this soul or spirit would exist as part of an immaterial soul. They pictured these souls as vapors or shadows going from one body to another. defined as those without a written tradition. There has been sharp divisions of thought as to the original concept of animism held by primitive peoples. animals and inanimate objects as well. and death. There naturally aroused a need to distinguish between an individual who was awake and one who was asleep. with its origin most likely dating to the Paleolithic age. therefore. believed the spirits or souls caused life in human beings. An British anthropologist Sir Edward Burnett Tylor in his "Primitive Culture" (1871) defined animism "as a general belief in spiritual beings and considered it 'a minimum definition of religion.ANIMISM INTRODUCTION The term animism is derived from the Latin word anima meaning breath or soul. dreams.

They view life as being in everything. Traces of these cults can still be found. but they never distinguished the soul as separate from the body. even man. He theorized that early man recognized some inanimate objects because they had some particular characteristic or behaved in some unusual way which mysteriously made them seem alive. supporting life. He believed early man treated all animate objects as having a life and will of their own. has been honored by ancient tribesmen and peasants throughout Europe. Marett conceded early man possessed the belief of animism. thought to harbor spirits of infertility.primitive man had not developed the intellectual to form even such simplistic explanations as Tylor proposed. In many cultures certain trees and plants have been feared. to be respected even when their lives were sacrificed for human use (pagan woodcutters never felled a tree without first begging its forgiveness).all life. It is insignificant how men and women gained the belief that a spirit or soul resides in all objects it is historically evident that they did. they are home to certain spirits. Both the soma plant of India and the coca shrub of Peru are worshiped for the intoxicating properties of the products made from them. as some have thought. Field crops." Plants and trees have been considered sacred by themselves because. the Greek version of the treeworshiping druid priestesses. The above describes nature worshipers among which many occultists are numbered. Life is sacred -. In some ancient cultures "trees were generally regarded as maternal deities or forest spirits. but it developed from the idea that some objects seemed to be alive like man. and everything. Marett suggested early religion was more emotional and intuitional in origin. Female tree spirits live on in myth and folklore as dryads. "One of the foremost characteristics 4 . Trees and plants were worshiped as totems or because of their usefulness and beauty. and could enter or leave the body.

Animism may also be the unconscious fabrication of a spirit manifestation by the medium. or a church ceremony performed by a priest. childbirth. such as altered breathing. certain taboos or sacred prohibitions reflecting traditional animistic beliefs are observed. The spirit of the medium then fabricates a manifestation and it is interesting to notice that the medium´s body undergoes all the usual changes that happen in an actual spirit communication. Spanish colonizers and missionaries came to the Itawes area in 1572 onwards. After the wedding the couple resides in the girl's household for at least one year before they establish their own household. A simple wedding feast usually follows. It usually happens when the medium is put under pressure to attend a request or works in a spiritualistic circle where spirit phenomena are expected to occur. contortions. In the Itawes life cycle such as pregnancy. It is not a fraud as the medium actually believes that he is channeling a spirit. sacred and secular. marriage and death.of Neo-Paganism (or occultism) is the return to the ancient idea that there is no distinction between the spiritual and material. the colonizers prevailed. they attempted to convert the Itawes. During the colonial rule. THE CULTURE The old religion of Ytawes is animism. 5 . Wedding ceremonies are either civil ceremony performed by a "hues" or justice of the peace." Everything is still one as it was to primitive man. and such procedures. Though the Itawes met the colonizers with resistance.

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In addition. The Itawes dialect has other peculiar characteristics such as the frequent use of double consonants like cc. they raise domesticated animals such as poultry. A few work in cigar/cigarette factories and food processing firms. The Itawes mode of dressing appears to be likewise more colorful. carabaos. a practice still found among those in the remote areas. Based on the dialect the people appear to be the most versatile group in the province.Other cultures The Itawes culture seems to be quite distinct from that of the lbanags. hogs and cattle. Farming is the leading source of livelihood. 8 . The average Itawes family favors seems to be education-conscious. The woman used to wear beads on their heads. corn. fishing and related occupation. ruins of a fortress. cathedrals) reflect Spanish influence. They speak Ibanag and llocano. Ibanag has become a standard language. kk. Some are engaged in hunting. Rice is the main staple and produced in commercial quantities. peanuts and tobacco. Many aspects of the Itawes culture and architectural structures (old Catholic churches. red being a dominant color. forestry. They also raise other agricultural products such as coffee. w. This being shown by the good number of their children sent to school. but because many Itawes live with the Ibanag.

Traditional customs are still practiced today. graduation from school or poor and bountiful harvests. and plaster of Paris in different sizes and faces. friendly. a long journey. The political system is the usual government structure of local government. whether in the style of their houses. their occupation and religious affiliation. and confession as required by the church. the Itawes are overwhelmingly Roman Catholic. Death among the Itawes galvanizes not only the family but also the whole neighborhood or community into action such that the usual church rites for the wakes and burial are observed. and sociable group whose daily mode of life is not markedly different from the rest of their countrymen. The Iglesia in Cristo and the Jehovah's Witnesses are also in the area and were able to convince/convert a few Itawes. confirmation. "santo" who supposedly serve as their guardians and intercessors. These days.CHANGES IN THE ITAWES CULTURE: IN ANIMISM These days. ceramics. These are in relation to sickness or epidemic.Contemporary Itawes are a charming. "Santo" are made of wood. which is administered by a set of elected officials headed by a barangay chairman. Many religious practices and sacred prohibitions are associated with the "santo". II. They observe child baptism. 9 . the barangay system. The Itawes believe in saints. "santo" making is a thriving craft and considered a profitable industry. all of which are signs of the Itawes culture. The "santo" occupy a revered altar in every home.

Pray for "santo" worship to be replaced with true worship of the true God. Pray for their hearts to have a personal encounter with the Lord Jesus. marketing. Farms that are not run in a businesslike fashion have e great difficulty in surviving. and finance. it has become more important as a business enterprise. Ibanag believers who live nearest to the Itawes. and nearly all their foods come from crops and animals raised on farms. Pray for gospel workers to come to these communities. Itawes believers/churches to be strong and be a witnessing church. They could reach out to these communities without requiring many adjustments. LEARNINGS ABOUT THE YTAWES CULTURE ( CONCLUSION ) As farming has become less important as a way of life in many places. Gospel workers on site for God's empowerment and enablement. People cannot live without food. Today¶s successful farmers are expert not just in agriculture but also proficient in accounting. Pray for protection as well. Farming was once the chief way of life in nearly every country.Prayer Points Itawes Catholics to come to a personal faith in Christ. 10 . III. Itawes communities where the gospel has never been proclaimed.

character. People in more remote or agrarian areas are sometimes unaware of the importance of education. hats during holidays which can attract the attention of anyone. The culture which each generation purposely gives to those who are to be its successors. Itawes dresses formal. or physical ability of an individual. They know that education in the largest sense is any act or experience that has a formative effect on the mind. fertilizers helped double and even triple the yields of some major crops. many have an active ministry of education. it makes its people responsible 11 . many families send their kids to school. Itawes thought of being ³nakasta´.Not many people farm for living anymore. In Cagayan. Good governance. the number and seriousness of the problems faced are naturally greater. and in any subjects education is one of the eight millennium development goals and great improvement have been achieved in the past decade. People in the valley dressed very simple. in order to qualify them for at least keeping up. However. In developing countries. dressed in creative way. and if possible for raising the level of improvement which has been attained. Old women use the saya and kamino while men use camisa de chino or the barong tagalong. but farming remains the most important occupation in the world. although their very strict but it seems to be liked that way. yet e great deal. shoes. Farming development improved by machineries that made it increasingly productive. Itawes are striving to obtain an education.

12 . While an incumbent would be a better person to continue pro-poor projects in Cagayan. who have an experience and in a better position to execute his office. Law maker would not be a good person for an executive officer. Cagayan would like be Davao City wherein peace and good governance exist.to their actions.

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